Retail

Snap Launches Snap Store

Consumers can now shop for Snap goodies in the company’s first merchandise store, located in the Snapchat app.

According to TechCrunch reports, the goal of the store — which consumers can find in the Discover section of the app — isn’t even to help the company make money right now. Instead, Snap simply wants to promote brand loyalty.

Snap has sold select items like its Spectacles sunglasses on Amazon in the past. The company sold the Spectacles from SnapBot vending machines that were placed around the country in 2016, and it opened its first pop-up store inside the famous Harrods department store in London last summer.

Snap has since pulled all of its merchandise except Spectacles from Amazon and will be selling its third-party manufactured merchandise on its own.

The current product offerings, available for a limited time, include Dancing Hot Dog Plush Doll ($19.99), Streak Hat ($29.99), Winkface Sweatshirt ($49.99), Dog Lens Tee ($29.99) and Bring Back Best Friends Sweatshirt ($49.99). The next round of products will be made available on February 8.

Snap has struggled since its initial public offering (IPO) last March, with its shares dropping more than 10 percent. As a result, Snap announced it is redesigning its mobile messaging app to make it easier and more enjoyable for customers to use.

“There is a strong likelihood that the redesign of our application will be disruptive to our business in the short term, and we don’t yet know how the behavior of our community will change when they begin to use our updated application,” said Snap CEO Evan Spiegel. “We’re willing to take that risk for what we believe are substantial long-term benefits to our business.”

In November, Chinese investment firm Tencent increased its stake in the company by more than 12 percent. The investment was aimed to give the struggling Snap a boost of confidence.

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